May 27/June 3, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 25
By Ken Ryan
Garden City, N.Y.—For the fourth year in a row, Mohawk Industries was voted Best Overall Manufacturer—one of four Mohawk-branded honors, and six in all for the Mohawk Group—in FCNews’ 23rd annual Award of Excellence competition.
In addition to Best Overall, Mohawk won Best Carpet Manufacturer (Group A), Best Commercial Carpet Manufacturer, and Best Laminate Manufacturer (Group A). In addition, two Mohawk companies took home top honors, including Dal-Tile, which was named Best Ceramic Manufacturer (Group A) for an unprecedented 21st consecutive year. Karastan won top honors for Area Rugs.
“Returning to the winner’s circle as Best Overall Manufacturer for the fourth consecutive year is a huge honor that we couldn’t have accomplished without our hardworking employees and amazing customers,” said Jeff Meadows, president of residential sales, who attended the May 9 affair here at the Garden City Hotel, along with several other Mohawk executives. “We strive to produce the best products—flooring that is innovative, versatile, stylish and high performing—with superior service in order for our retailers to offer the best to consumers. We look forward to advancing our partnerships in 2019.”
Michel Vermette, president of residential carpet for Mohawk, echoed that sentiment, saying, “The Mohawk team is honored that retailers recognize us as a leader in innovation and recognize our products such as the industry’s only hypoallergenic soft flooring—Air.o; our SmartStrand franchise, now featuring groundbreaking carpet technology called ColorMax; and our revolutionary wood flooring, RevWood, for contributing to their business success and consumer satisfaction. These awards reinforce their resounding endorsement of our products, and we are thankful for their commitment to Mohawk.”
It was also a strong night for Shaw Industries and its divisions as well as Mannington—each taking home three awards. Shaw won Best Manufacturer for Hardwood (Group A). Meanwhile, its Anderson Tuftex brand took home top honors for Carpet (Group B) and USFloors secured first place in the WPC/Rigid Core category for the second year in a row. Before it was broken out into the WPC/Rigid Core category, USFloors had won LVT (Group B) for two straight years.
“To achieve an Award of Excellence from your customers is the most meaningful and valuable recognition any company can wish for,” said Piet Dossche, president of USFloors. “I am very proud and honored we received this trophy and on behalf of our entire team. I thank our customers for this recognition. Receiving this award endorses the daily commitment from a great group of dedicated people at USFloors and Shaw who are working hard to provide the best product and service to our retail partners. The revolution our COREtec product has created in the WPC product category has been great for our customers who have embraced this exciting new product wholeheartedly. Thank you, FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, for organizing this yearly contest and event.”
Being part of the Shaw family, Dossche added, has given USFloors more opportunities to grow the COREtec business. “We are committed to remain the leader in this category and to continue to build COREtec into a strong consumer brand.”
For Anderson Tuftex it was the brand’s second consecutive win in Carpet since the merger of the respective brands. Before that, Tuftex had captured Carpet B for three consecutive years, making it five years in a row for the brand. “Anderson Tuftex is excited and honored to be selected Best Carpet Manufacturer in category B,” said Katie Ford, director of brand strategy. “We appreciate the recognition and value our partnership with our retailers.”
Mannington took home top honors for resilient sheet, commercial resilient, and LVT (Group A). “We are honored to receive this recognition from our retailers,” said Mary Katherine Dyczko-Riglin, product manager, residential sheet vinyl and sundries. “We are incredibly proud to continue to be recognized as a leader in residential sheet—where we strive to create excitement and value—and thrilled to see that our work in the LVT category with our Adura line has resonated with our customers.”
Among the repeat winners, Emser Tile won for the third year in a row in Ceramic (Group B) and Inhaus took top honors for Laminate (Group B), marking its third consecutive year in the winner’s circle.
“Emser Tile is proud to be recognized by our customers and receive the FCNews Award of Excellence,” said Bob Baldocchi, chief marketing officer. “This recognition inspires us to continue to find new ways to innovate and enhance the overall customer experience.”
In recognition of the Laminate B award, Derek Welbourn, CEO of Inhaus, commented: “We feel extremely fortunate and once again honored that our customers voted for us. We have a passion for our product offerings and strive to create products that people are excited about both in terms of innovative design and quality. In our eyes, this award is a recognition of our efforts, and we are truly appreciative of that.”
Awards for Group C—established two years ago to recognize quality, smaller-scale companies—went to Southwind for carpet and HomerWood in hardwood. Both companies are also repeat winners.
“Southwind and all of our employees are honored to have won this Award of Excellence,” said Richard Abramowicz, executive vice president. “It truly is a team effort. At Southwind we strive to bring to market the most innovative and forward-thinking products that provide solutions to the marketplace. We would like to thank our valued customers for recognizing our efforts for this award.”
Sponsored by FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, proprietors of The International Surface Event (TISE), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers and specifiers—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, design, B2B, handling of claims and ease of doing business.
“The Awards of Excellence are honors bestowed to manufacturers by the heart and soul of the flooring industry, the retailers,” said Dana Teague, vice president, Design Group, Informa Global Exhibitions. “It is a pleasure and an honor for Informa/Surfaces to co-sponsor this year’s awards with Floor Covering News. We are delighted to share our enthusiasm for innovation with brands that continually strive for excellence. Surfaces is the platform manufacturers use to launch or highlight many of the winning products to the delight of the thousands of retailers, distributors, designers and installers that come to Las Vegas every January. Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s awards.”
Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between October 2018 and the end of March 2019 for the companies they felt best met established criteria in the following flooring categories—Carpet, Commercial Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Resilient Sheet, Resilient Commercial, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/ Underlayment—as well as the Best Overall mill.
Ballots were featured in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote online and at industry events such as Surfaces. Well over 1,000 votes were cast—representing flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers—with more industry professionals voting online than ever.
While the category awards were done on a simple, one-vote-per-category/company format, the Best Overall award required voters to fill in their choices for first, second and third place. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place worth three points and third place one point. Point totals were tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.